Android Police

Editorials

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[Editorial] Let Android Be Android: One Year Later


Introduction

It's now been exactly a year (minus one day) since I published my very first editorial for Android Police, Let Android Be Android. A lot has changed since - dual-core CPUs are now table stakes for a high-end smartphone; Android has evolved from an exclusively mobile OS to a software powerhouse for phones and tablets alike; and we've been given several seminars on stretching the truth about the speed of a wireless network (yep, that would be the "4G" drama).

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Editorial: Was Google's Purchase Of Motorola More About Damage Control Than Patent Woes?

If you head over to FOSSPatents this morning, you'll find a rather lengthy article about Google's acquisition of Motorola that ends with the following conclusion:

Google bought MMI to prevent the worst for Google's strategy, not to make things better for everyone else.

In a way, the $12.5 billion price represents protection money. But not in the way most people seem to think.

FOSSPatents

This statement is obviously contrary to the heaps of coverage the Motorola-Google deal received from  major news outlets, blogs, and Android enthusiasts.

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Editorial: Why On-Screen Virtual Buttons In Android Ice Cream Sandwich Will Be Great

Ice Cream Sandwich will be the first phone version of Android to support virtual buttons. It seems like a lot of people don’t "get" the whole idea behind them. If used correctly, virtual buttons will be way better than the painted on Back/Home/Menu/Search we have now. So I figured I would lay out the benefits for everyone and hopefully start a nice discussion.

For starters, virtual buttons are much better UI

  • They can change orientation with the phone so they are always in the same place.
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Irony Alert: Apple Says Samsung And Motorola Are "Anticompetitive" Because Of Their Patents

Apple has a long history of being ironic, and not in the positive sense of the word. Their latest bout of ironic shenanigans: accusing Samsung and Motorola of being "anticompetitive." Frankly, this is such an outrageous accusation that I just don't know where to start with it.

  1. First off, a little history: as Daily Tech points out, Steve Jobs famously said "We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." What changed?
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Editorial: Why Removing The Market's "Just In" Section Is Good For Everyone - Except App Spammers

This Just In

If you've received the new version of the Android Market on your phone, you might have noticed among the legion of additions to the app a very noticeable subtraction: the "Just In" section. Some people don't like this.

In fact, there is a growing thread over at Google Support with a number of complaints about this change. Of course, the complaints are pretty exclusively from developers. Now, some of these complaints are made from a legitimate perspective - new developers who want exposure.

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Editorial: Google Needs To Stop Playing The Victim, Even If The Patent System Is Broken

When Google's General Counsel, David Drummond, posted the first real public response by the search giant to the intellectual property war being waged on Android, the techblogosphere just about peed their collective pants in excitement. Everyone loves a good flame war, it's true. Google called out Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle - by name - publicly. It doesn't get much better than that.

Unfortunately, this probably isn't going to help Google's ongoing battles with those companies, and it's not going to help the company's public image, either.

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Why Apple's Patent Victories Over HTC Aren't All That Important Or Scary

Android's latest indirect legal tussle to come to a head, a patent suit between HTC and Apple, was ruled on last week by the US ITC (Court of International Trade) - finding the Taiwanese manufacture liable for two counts of patent infringement. This news has spread like wildfire through every corner of the tech blog world. But is there really anything that's changed right now (or even in the near future) because of the outcome of this suit?

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[Editorial] Why Honeycomb Is Taking A Beating (And What Google Needs To Do To Fix It)

When the iPad first hit the market, it changed the way consumers looked at computing, mobile devices, and productivity. It provided an easy way to accomplish basic tasks, a convenient way to surf the web, and bridged the gap between laptop and smartphone. As the natural competitor to iOS, Android had to fire back with a device that was comparable in function: the Motorola XOOM, the world's first Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet.

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Editorial: Google+ Will (Probably) Never Overtake Facebook - But It Doesn't Matter

Got you on the title for a second, didn't I? With all the buzz (har har) surrounding Google+ lately, there's been near endless speculation about whether the new social network will have what it takes to "defeat" its biggest competitor: Facebook. In fact, it seems taken for granted that Google+ and Facebook are like oil and water - two things that simply cannot co-exist in harmony. As you may have guessed from my title, I think this is an absolutely silly discussion.

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[Weekend Poll] How Much Cellular Data Does Your Device Use Per Month?

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see How Much Has Owning A Tablet Impacted Your Computer Use?

It seems the explosive growth of smartphone use has had some unintended consequences: U.S. carriers are moving towards tiered data. While some carriers have had "soft" caps for years, we've recently seen a move towards hard caps. "Tiered" plans have long been standard in other parts of the world, but the simple difference is that US carriers charge significantly more across the board - be it basic plans (just minutes), add-on's (such as texting), or data (whether used on a plan or as-you-go).

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